‘Data and digitization main asset for solving sustainability problems’

Data & Digitization plays a significant role in solving tasks such as network congestion and balancing energy supply and demand. Smart combinations of information flows can even positively affect the well-being and health of building users. The participants in the data and digitization seminar discovered how sustainability issues are addressed with smart buildings and areas.

ABB Experience in Nieuwegein, where a tour of the ABB ACE space (a working method, developed to quickly determine the ideal starting points for an efficient, healthy and sustainable building together at project level), formed the stage for sharing knowledge on this important topic. “You can use data to make buildings more efficient, sustainable and healthier,” says today’s chairman Gerard Streng from SPIE Holland. “Or it ensures that less maintenance is required and that the building works longer and performs better. There are plenty of examples to think about, but practice is unruly. The top of the market is working on the subject, but there is still a lot to be gained in terms of integrity. ”

For example, the perspectives of end users, consultants and installers differ from one another, while the parties work together on sustainability. If you work with the design of a building, you may have a different need for data than a party who takes care of the maintenance. “One of the things that strikes me is that we all operate from our own island. Each installation technical service provider has its own solutions, and we do not often see collaborations between installers and design parties. We need to meet more often. ”

From division to integrated collaboration

Mark van Burg of Planon Building Management, who was the first speaker to launch the plenary program, also sees this division: “We want to approach it more integrated by offering a platform to property owners, users and service providers. We connect users, processes and buildings from one platform. In this way, we break through the silos that exist. We work with clients who own real estate all over the world, with a diversity of technology. ” As operating technology moves closer to information technology, Planon Building Management entered into a partnership with Schneider Electric: “Buildings used to be technologies in themselves. Closed and not open. We are seeing the market change and data is increasingly available digitally. In the end, you see the merger of the IT and OT markets. “

It is clear that data & digitization contribute to fulfilling the sustainability tasks. To stay within one and a half degrees Celsius after warming up, we need to present better than even the most optimistic scenario. “Climate action is necessary, but it is only one of the goals we have,” Van Burg continues. “We also focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and on fulfilling the tasks related to health and greener.” What tasks can we complete with data? “First and foremost, we can gain 30% in space capacity and reduce energy and water consumption by 22%. But we can also increase employee satisfaction through increased well-being and health. There is also up to 9 times less damage due to timely identification of maintenance issues. These goals can still be achieved today. “

Choices and options

The automation required to take advantage of these opportunities is mainly used in new construction. It is relatively easy to realize there: “In the new building, you can make a choice regarding the sensors or your control system. In an existing building, you have less flexibility and the technology is used for individual tasks. Such as sensors for air quality, a solution for presence detection and other things used for framed needs. The diversity of technology has increased to such an extent that, as IT machines, it is almost impossible to control it. And building users want different techniques and languages ​​to be connected to each other. For suppose you have 100 buildings in all sorts of countries with different techniques. Then you will collect cross-system data and make smart decisions about it. “

'Data and digitization main asset for solving sustainability problems'

Connection and connection between systems was called the ‘backbone of the energy transition’ by Kees-Jan ‘t Mannetje from ABB. “We have a common task of acting on current social issues and stricter laws and regulations. For example, office buildings should have brand C by 2023, and the step to brand A is underway. You must also realize at least a certain number of parking spaces for charging electric cars. If you already have a challenge with the connection capacity, what will happen when these laws and regulations come into force and suddenly another 5 or 10 charging stations are added? ”

More complex issues

Changes follow one another quickly, and we see how the effects of a war or pandemic affect us. “The problems are becoming more and more complex,” says’ t Mannetje. “For example, in terms of sustainability, digitalisation and materials. Digitization can be divided into digital innovation and transformation. The former is, for example, about start-ups that supply the market with new technology. Transformation is about the companies that show how their products are changing at a rapid pace. ABB first introduced a light switch, then a dimmer. Home automation is now indispensable. A product that occurs traditionally gets added connectivity so we can collect data and information. “According to him, our buildings are filled with this kind of information.” All buildings collect data. Basically, it is information that can not be done. so much with.The trick is to research with the right parties what you need with the data and how to connect them, to come up with smart solutions.Think of algorithms and Artificial Intelligence (AI), which for example take into account external sources such as weather forecasts. Then the challenge is to connect those sources. “

I balance

The effect of this is, for example, that supply and demand for energy can be better matched. It is not a superfluous luxury, because it is clear that our electricity grid is full in some places. “Exchange of information is important to balance supply and demand. Digitization also plays an important role in smart grids. If you have sufficient production of sustainable energy, there must also be sufficient consumption. With smart energy management systems, you can ensure that you can predict when to charge your cars. Or you learn how to reduce or even out your total energy needs for a building at specific times so that energy supply and demand match. ” According to him, there are not only opportunities in the business sector, but also in housing construction, there is much to be gained: “One would like to be able to place orders for the heat pump, for example, based on current information. It is possible to optimize with algorithms. ”

'Data and digitization main asset for solving sustainability problems'

Smart first steps

Nick Verhoeven of CFP Green Buildings then spoke about the development of online tools that help unlock data. For example, Sport NL Groen was launched, which gives all sports clubs in the Netherlands insight into the sustainability they can implement. “The tool should remove barriers to sustainability and answer questions. For example, a volunteer who probably has no knowledge of the energy market may wonder how many solar panels should be installed on the roof and whether it is the smartest first step to sustainability. But it may also be unclear what funding and grants are available and how he can complete his business case. ”

Associations and clubs can immediately use the tool and reduce the energy bill today. “Based on the club name, we pick up the postcode and we know the key figures of the building,” Verhoeven continues. “We then do our analysis on it. We collect the number of sports pitches and then know how much sports pitch lighting is needed for e.g. We include this in our view, so you can easily find out and choose which measures apply to you. There will be a business case that is refined every time you add it. We made agreements with dozens of suppliers to commit to giving cashback on the products they sell. This is another reason to become more sustainable, because with cashback, for example, you can immediately buy sports equipment. ”

To make meters

The tool can also be used by municipalities, which have the task of creating behavioral changes in sports clubs for sustainability. “As a municipality, you can look at your sports associations and select the sports clubs with the largest energy consumption. You can then filter these and calculate all scenarios in our tool. For example, you can call the 5 clubs that consume the most and make an appointment to discuss the sustainability policy. It saves valuable time to complete the energy conversion, because otherwise you have to turn to a multitude of clubs without information. Our ambition is to offer the same opportunities to the health sector and social buildings as schools and hospitals. ”

Sustainably Built will soon publish a white paper on Sport NL Groen and the sustainability opportunities associated with the initiative. You will soon find the White Paper on Sustainable Construction in the knowledge base. More information about ABB Experience and the ACE (Accelerate | Co-create | Experience) methodology can be found here, and more information about ABB Experience can be found in this article. Would you also like to attend one of the next Sustainable Building seminars to share your knowledge? So keep an eye on our agenda and sign up immediately for the next seminar: Biobased Building.

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